I Don’t Know. Idaho?
I Don’t Know. Idaho?
Towards the end of our time in Las Vegas, His Majesty Lord Sisolak started enforcing unenforceable rules because science most obviously demanded it. The most sciency of all science-based decrees was his declaration that dining at a restaurant would require a previous reservation made at-least 24 hours in advance. This made perfect sense because it gave health officials enough time to notify COVID-19 about who would be coming to dinner.
I know, he’s just following the science.
And I also know what you crazy conspiracy theorists are thinking:
The governor is trying to make dining at restaurants inconvenient so you will be disincentivized to leave your home because that is the desired behavior and you need to comply.
PSSHH, obviously that’s not the case.
Firstly, historically speaking, politicians have never cared about being in control, that’s why they became politicians, to not be in control. Secondly, that would never happen in a free country. And thirdly, in the 100% chance it did happen, we are dealing with the deadliest of deadly viruses. SO deadly in fact that it kills almost nobody, most people who get it don’t even know it, and a 1-ply disposable mask made in China and purchased from Walmart will stop it dead in it’s tracks.
Now that I’ve unnecessarily turned myself into a polarizing figure, at-least we can all agree that my assessment is either spot on, or I’m the very worst person imaginable. And that, my friends, is how you bring people together, Joe Biden style. After all, we have to remember that it’s really just about the science, and our decision to spend a month in Idaho was no exception. It went something exactly like this:
Sara: Where should we go next?
Me: Somewhere with less science.
Sara: Where’s that?
Me: I don’t know. Idaho?
Before Leaving Las Vegas (you see what I did there?), both Sara and I put together a very comprehensive list of things we knew about Twin Falls, Idaho. You can see that list by tapping or clicking here.
As you can see, a very calculated decision, right?
To best explain what was appealing about Twin Falls I should first tell you that I have lived in a lot of different places. On the West coast (Los Angeles, San Diego), in the Midwest (Kansas City), on the East Coast (Washington D.C.), in the South (Dallas), and in whatever geographical alternate universe reluctantly claims Clovis, CA.
The main thing most of those places have in common is they’re populated cities.
(And no, contrary to popular opinion, Kansas City isn’t just a small farm you fly over on your flight from Denver to Chicago).
Sara and I met when I was living in L.A., and before we both moved to San Diego in 2011, she lived in North Hollywood, just barely outside the Bermuda Triangle of traffic. I was commuting to Fox Sports Radio in Burbank, and eventually to another office in Beverly Hills. When we both moved to North County San Diego, we would say things like:
“People are so nice here! It’s amazing to only have to sit in an hour of traffic, instead of a day. And can you believe we don’t have to park on the 9th floor of a parking garage to go grocery shopping!? I could get used to this small town life.”
Obviously, we had no idea what we were talking about. Nothing about San Diego is small town unless you just moved there from L.A., NYC or probably anywhere in China.
BUT TWIN FALLS, IDAHO!?
Now that’s a real small town, something that sounded really appealing in 2020. And if I’m being honest, almost all of it has lived up to our most hopeful and optimistic expectations.
People here have been genuinely friendly, almost like human beings are designed to be social or something. For example, I had a barista ask me if I had a good NYE, and if I stayed up until midnight… and then she told me that she stayed up too late and her friends roommate was being noisy so she couldn’t sleep and she can’t wait to get off at 1pm so she can go home and take a nap but it’s not all bad because she works at a coffee shop and has plenty of espresso to get her through the morning.
If I wasn’t a 40-year old married Dad who looks like a 40-year old married Dad, I probably would have thought she was hitting on me. But she wasn’t.
We found a church, Amazing Grace Fellowship, and believe it or not, they weren’t in the middle of a sermon series on tithing. After the Christmas Eve service, the actual pastor even introduced himself to us, and while I could be wrong, I’m pretty sure they don’t even have a green room. It felt like going to church before going to church became about church.
In the month I have been here, I’ve seen two Range Rovers, one Tesla, a few Mercedes from the late 90’s, and every conceivable brand, size and variety of pickup truck imaginable. There’s one “nice” restaurant in town, but it’s 100% free of pretension. There’s exactly one mall, and it has two Buckle stores inside, so obviously someone around here has been time traveling. And while I joke about the lack of affluent culture, it was a refreshing and welcome change of scenery to be around so many people who weren’t preoccupied with pretending to be other people.
But above everything else, our very favorite thing about Twin Falls was the complete absence of mask mandates, business closures, and the overreaction hysteria we were seeing at home in San Diego, and in Las Vegas. The majority of businesses didn’t request or require masks, and not a single business was operating on reduced hours or occupancy restrictions. Yes, of course, some people were wearing masks and social distancing. And sure, a good percentage of people weren’t. And do you know what that’s called?
SO, why don’t you move to Twin Falls? Well, that’s a great question, and we unquestionably enjoyed our time in this wonderful town. But here’s the problem, and let me do my best to spell it out for you.
That was the big unknown coming into this portion of our trip. Could we truly, authentically enjoy our day-to-day lives living in a small town during legitimate winter? We emphatically put that question to the test, and not surprisingly, the answer is no.
It’s not that we couldn’t get used to putting on a heavy coat, then taking it off in the car, then putting it back on to go inside somewhere, only to take it off again and carry it around like a piece of luggage. It’s not that we couldn’t adapt to being snowed in with a toddler who quickly tires from any activity and loses her mind if you tell her she can’t go outside in a onesie and blow bubbles during a snowstorm. It’s not that we couldn’t build a routine around lathering ourselves in body lotion every three hours because we have our thermostat set at a beachy 83.
Actually, it is.
It’s all of those things (and more).
But most importantly, let’s not lose sight of the fact that we’re still just following the science which says prolonged exposure to frigid winter temperatures can lead to death. Dozens of studies have shown that our risk of exposure to winter will be greatly reduced in Southern Utah.
And if we’ve learned anything in 2020, it’s that you should never, ever, under any circumstance, argue with the science.
See you tomorrow, St. George.